Botox as a Preventative Treatment for Chronic Migraines

Migraines are often extremely painful and debilitating headaches that negatively impact quality of life. For those suffering from chronic migraines, Botox injections have emerged as an effective preventative treatment option. 

At Synergy Face + Body we are experienced at administering Botox to help our patients and provide much-needed relief – here is how it works.

Understanding Migraine Headaches

Migraines differ from an average headache because they are a neurological disease featuring moderate to severe pulsing or throbbing pain often isolated to one area of the head. These intense headaches can last anywhere from four hours to three days if left untreated.

In addition to throbbing head pain, migraines have other distinguishing symptoms.

  • Nausea, vomiting, and extreme light and sound sensitivity.
  • Sensory disturbances like seeing flashing lights, spots, or losing vision. 
  • Numbness or tingling throughout the body.

Roughly 12% of Americans suffer from migraines, with the condition being three times more prevalent in women. Most people experience their first attack during puberty or early adulthood, usually between the ages of 15 and 24.  

Common Migraine Triggers  

The complex neurological components that trigger migraines aren’t yet fully understood. It’s likely genetic traits passed down through families and influence from one’s environment play pivotal roles. There are a variety of common triggers that can spur migraine attacks.

  • Hormonal shifts associated with menstrual cycles or birth control pills.
  • High stress levels.
  • Insufficient or inconsistent sleep habits.
  • Skipping meals or fasting.
  • Weather changes.
  • Specific foods and drinks like aged cheeses, chocolate, alcohol, foods containing the additive MSG, or foods with high levels of tyramine like aged meats and soy products.

Successfully identifying and subsequently avoiding personal migraine triggers is key for many sufferers to prevent attacks from developing in the first place. Keeping a daily headache journal can help uncover your unique triggers so you can take the necessary actions to avoid them.

Botox Injections for Preventing Chronic Migraines

For migraine sufferers enduring more than 15 excruciating migraine headache days per month, Botox injections administered every 12 weeks have proven to effectively reduce the frequency and severity of attacks as a preventative treatment. 

Botox contains a purified protein that temporarily relaxes muscle contractions when injected into the body in minute doses. For chronic migraines, 31 injections are carefully administered to specific sites on the head, neck, and shoulders in muscles that contribute to migraine pain.

Multiple clinical research trials have shown regular Botox treatments can lessen the number of monthly migraine days by six to nine fewer days on average compared to study participants given placebo saline injections.

Within a month of receiving injections, many notice a reduction in migraine frequency as the relaxing effects of Botox kick in. Maximum beneficial effects are typically observed approximately 12 weeks after initial treatments.  

Candidates for Botox Migraine Prevention

The American Academy of Neurology advises Botox injections as an effective preventative treatment option specifically for adults with chronic migraines reaching at least 15 excruciating head pain days per month.

Additionally, candidates for Botox should have attempted and not found success with several other standard daily oral prescription migraine prevention medications. Botox must be used as a regular preventative treatment rather than for halting acute migraine attacks.

If you suffer from frequent debilitating migraine pain, consult Synergy Face + Body about the possibility of initiating Botox treatments.  

What to Expect During Botox Appointments 

The process of getting Botox injections is relatively quick and easy. During your appointment, one of our qualified technicians utilizes very thin needles to meticulously inject the purified Botox protein into your head, neck, and shoulder muscles that require relaxation. 

You may feel brief pinching sensations from the needles when receiving these injections. To maximize comfort, we can first apply medical-grade ice packs or anesthetic cream to the targeted areas.

The entire procedure should take approximately 10 to 20 minutes. Afterward, you must avoid laying down for a minimum of four hours post-procedure to prevent the newly deposited Botox from migrating away from the injection sites.  

Within one month of your first Botox session, you should experience noticeable reductions in your migraine attack intensity and frequency. You will need to return for repeat Botox injections about every 12 weeks as the effects slowly begin wearing off around the three-month mark for most patients.

Monitoring for Potential Side Effects   

Serious adverse reactions are extremely rare with Botox when administered properly by one of our licensed healthcare professionals who adhere to strict procedural guidelines. However, some of the following temporary mild side effects can occur. 

  • Mild swelling, redness, or bruising around injection sites lasting less than seven days.
  • Minor muscle weakness near areas treated with Botox lasting fewer than two weeks.  
  • Temporary sore or stiff neck for up to one week.
  • Slight eyelid drooping  

Always promptly inform us about any side effects you develop post-treatment so we can provide you with proper guidance.

Answers to Common Botox Questions 

How soon until I get migraine relief from Botox?

Many patients report noticeable improvements within a month. However, the beneficial impacts slowly build and peak around 12 weeks post-injections for most people. Six months of consistent treatments may be needed to experience the full range of benefits.  

How long do treatment results last?

Positive effects typically persist for approximately three months until the injected Botox gradually wears off. This necessitates follow-up appointments for repeat injections about every 12 weeks to maintain migraine prevention.  

What does Botox for migraines cost? 

We price our Botox per unit and each client requires a specific amount based on their age, severity, location, and other factors. For this reason, we recommend booking a consultation where we will be able to fully assess you and your needs in order to give you an accurate cost for your treatment requirements. 

Should I try other options before considering Botox?

Yes, first discuss other avenues with your doctor such as prescription medications for preventing attacks, massage, acupuncture, nerve blocks, cognitive behavioral therapy for stress reduction, or keeping a diary to pinpoint personal migraine triggers.

What if I don’t think Botox is working after several treatments?

It can take up to six months of consistent Botox treatments before you experience the full range of migraine prevention benefits. But if you still feel no relief after an adequate trial period, consult us about trying other therapies or adjusting your Botox dose.  

Schedule Botox Injections for Migraines at Synergy Face + Body

If you endure chronic migraine attacks, Botox could offer welcome relief after months of trial and failure with other treatment methods. Contact Synergy Face + Body to schedule a consultation exam and discuss beginning Botox for migraine prevention. Our compassionate staff looks forward to helping you chart a path toward finding lasting relief.